Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Women’s Rugby Has an Outstanding Game Against Gustavus

Lyla Meyer
The Black Katts and Gustavus Alolphus women’s rugby club in a scrum.

The Winona State University’s women’s rugby team, The Black Katts, faced Gustavus Adolphus College’s women’s rugby club on home ground this weekend, taking to the Southeast Tech Rugby Field to snag another well-earned win.  

The game began with the Black Katts obtaining the ball immediately off the initial kick-off. During the first few plays, there was strong intensity from both teams that translated into roughness on the field, an excellent indicator of a great game to come.  

Within minutes the first scrum had also occurred which allowed the Black Katts to get their ball back. A scrum is when eight players from both teams bind together in three rows. The ball is then tossed underneath near their feet and everyone who is in the scrum attempts to kick the ball out to their teammates.  

Another scrum allowed Winona State to make a run that resulted in the first try of the game. A try is a goal obtained when the players run the ball into the end zone and touch the ground with it. The players are then given an opportunity for extra points by kicking the ball through a goal post, making seven points possible if a try is fully successful. The Black Katt’s were triumphant in their try, bumping the score up to 7-0 in their favor.  

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Quickly after, another speedy run allowed Winona State to score another try. No goal post points were scored but the score was still moved up to 12-0, pushing the Black Katts farther into the lead.  

The third scrum of the game followed an impressive play from Gustavus who nearly advanced their score but was prevented quickly by a tackle which gave Winona State the ball back, proving just how efficient the Black Katts defense could be.  

After yet another successful scrum from Winona State, the ball was once again run to the goal, accounting for another try for the team. No goal post points were made which advanced the score to 17-0. 

“This was the most cohesive game we’ve had all season,” Ella Paige, a Black Katts member said. “It was like a hive mind.” 

A tackle and another run through the try line leaves the score at 22-0. 

Occasional “I love you guys,” can be heard from both sides of the field in reference to the opposing team. This show of respect is a peace offering when a particularly rough tackle occurs. Respect and sportsmanship are a strong fundamental value in rugby and ensure that there is no bad blood between teams or referees and promote an environment filled with connection and enjoyment.  

A successful scrum gives Winona State the opportunity to advance towards the try line. After an intense battle to attempt another try, the play is called off for half time.  

Heading back onto the field, both teams are fired up.  

“I’ve never been to a rugby game, it’s pretty interesting,” a Warrior fan, Tristan Cruz, who was present in the stands said.  

A Warrior won scrum allows for another run for the try line, completed by two of the Black Katt players who pass it back and forth and find their place in the in-goal area. With a successful kick past the goal post, the score was moved up to 29-0 with the Black Katts maintaining their lead and impeccable offensive plays. 

The Winona State University’s women’s rugby team, the Black Katts, a close-knit group of girls is always accepting new players whether they have played the sport before or not. (Photo contributed from WSU Women’s Rugby website.)

The Winona Black Katts were on fire, absolutely dominating the field and going scrum after scrum with the ball being turned to their possession. Paired with their consistent advancements toward the try line, they continued to boost the score in their favor.  

Ducking through player after player, a member of the Black Katt team made another impressive run to the try line, scoring yet another time for her team. With the kick into the goal post, the extra two points brought the score up to 41-0. 

Though, this play was followed up by a sudden burst of offensive success from a Gustavus player who ran the ball into their in-goal area, putting their first points of the game on the board.  

After a short and respectful pause caused by an injured player, the Black Katts dove back into action, determined to strike again to regain the streak they had previously. They were victorious in their endeavor, bringing the score to 48-5.  

Gustavus still maintained a lucky streak and scored three goals within just five minutes, the third of which put the score at 48-17. This proved to be a very intense ten minutes as it was just one team achieving try after try with aggressive defense attempting to stop their advances.   

“This was the best we’ve ever played as a team,” McKenna Hennager, a Black Katt Warrior said. “We weren’t ball hungry, we wanted to win as a team, and it showed.”  

Despite Gustavus’ three try’s, Winona State still fought hard, raised a solid wall of defense and continued to play as a team. Another impeccable run brought them another goal, leaving the score at 53-17.  

During their last play of the game, the final scrum left Gustavus with the ball. Winona State was keeping up on defense, keeping the ball away from the try line. With a kick, Gustavus was forced to fall back on the field, opposite of where they hoped to be, and a penalty put the players back in the center to fight for the ball and territory. The game ended with a tackle. Both teams met to congratulate one another and wish each other well in their games to come.  

With the intensity and passion that was shown in their play, the Black Katts will go on to their next game with this win under their belt and the fiery determination to be victorious that spurred them to dominate in this game.

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About the Contributor
Lyla Meyer
Lyla Meyer, Sports Reporter

Lyla Meyer (she, her, hers) is a sports reporter and photographer for The Winonan and started in the spring of 2023. She is currently a freshman at Winona State University and majoring in Communications with a minor in English.

Outside of the Winonan, Lyla enjoys reading romance and fantasy books, going thrifting, listening to music (which she likes indie rock), and singing in the concert choir here at Winona State University. She also loves spending time with her family and friends, working at Maurices in Winona, and playing volleyball.

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